TV5 actor Edgar Allan Guzman has matured in more ways than one, after tackling the lead role in the play “Bona,” which wraps today, Sunday.
“It was a long process,” says Guzman, who was Cinemalaya’s best actor last year for Erick Salud’s “Ligo na U, Lapit na Me.’”
First, he built up his physique with rigorous sessions at Gold’s Gym, working on his shoulders, abs and chest. In “Bona,” he has had to bare his body and wear only boxers onstage.
The gym time was also in preparation for his stint in the recent Bench fashion show. But Guzman gave up that gig to concentrate on the Philippine Education Theater Association (Peta) play after Paulo Avelino dropped out as alternate.
“I’ve had to do all 30 shows,” he notes. “Plus we rehearsed for over a month with director Soxie Topacio.”
Guzman says he picked up a lot of acting pointers from the Peta team. “Plus, I’ve learned to be consistent, focused and disciplined.” “Bona” showcases his reinvention from gangly Mr. Pogi (2006) winner to the local scene’s latest indie hottie. “I’m ready for more daring adult roles,” he quips.
His grown-up persona is on full display in “Bona,” where he has a shower scene and a kissing scene with the titular heroine played by comic Eugene Domingo. “I’ve worked with Ate Uge (Domingo’s nickname) in the past, so we are comfortable with each other,” Guzman says. “Of course it helps that she has soft, kissable lips.”
He watched the original Lino Brocka film “Bona,” starring Nora Aunor and Phillip Salvador, on DVD before doing the play. Aunor and Salvador are expected to grace the show tonight.
Apart from recording a follow-up to his CD (“Hanggang Dito Na Lang”), Guzman dreams of portraying a gay man in an indie film. “But I want it to be a heavy drama, not a comedy or sexy flick,” he explains. “It should tackle the problems of gay people in a realistic and serious manner.”
He was permitted by TV5 to do that on the small screen last night via ABS-CBN’s “Maalaala Mo Kaya,” where he played a gay seaman. Guzman is currently a regular in the TV5 fantasy series “Enchanted Garden” and variety show “Game ’n’ Go.”
“It’s great to work with big stars like Alice Dixson and Ruffa Gutierrez (on “Enchanted”), and Joey de Leon and Edu Manzano (on “Game”).On top of singing and acting, I hope to improve as a host, too,” he says. Guzman is the recipient of this year’s Famas Youth Achievement Award.